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Chipping for Oman at Dubai Twestival February 17, 2009

Posted by Arun Rajagopal in Conversations, Oman, Social Media, Travel.
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The Dubai Twestival Tee
Dubai
was one of the 175 cities around the world to organize the Twestival on 12 February 2009. Nearly 150 Tweeters gathered at Le Meridien Mina Seyahi’s fab Barasti Bar for the Dubai Twestival @DubaiTwestival.

Dubai PR agency Spot On @spotonpr estimates that out of the 1,500 Twitter users in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), over 500 are based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Currently, UAE has the fastest growing Twitter audience in the region with over 20% per month. Considering that Twitter was banned in UAE till August 2008, these numbers are quite impressive.

With not more than 15 active Tweeters based out from Oman, we couldn’t have a Twestival in Muscat, so I decided to join the Twestival crowd at Dubai. Even more exciting for me was the fact that I drove down from Muscat to Dubai and back (my first time ever) – a distance of 800km.

The ride was exciting and before I left I was like I need to take something special for the Twitterati in Dubai. I first thought about postcards that capture Oman’s beautiful imagery, but then I hit upon a better idea.

Arun Rajagopal with PK Gulati at Dubai Twestival
If you live in
Oman, you would have definitely tasted ‘Chips Oman’ which is one of the most popular snacks in this country. It’s like staple food out here along with Mountain Dew. So I took bags of Chips Oman crisps across the border, because they stand for Oman (a chips brand named after a country is just yummy!). You might take a look at the Chips Oman page on Facebook as well.

Yes, so I made it to Barasti with bags of chips in hand. It was great meeting a lot of interesting tweeps at Dubai. There was a clear sense of camaraderie that goes with being a part of a small community. And it’s a community that will go stronger and get better over time.

I particularly enjoyed meeting @PKGulati, @Renroon, @divine_dee, @kangayayaroo, @umarpirzada, @ MaliZomg, @Lhjunkie, @mayG_UTP, @mnystedt, @DaddyBird, @skinnylatte, @esperanca, @DrBaher, @dxbluey @Carringtonm & many others. I didn’t get to say hello to a lot of people & I’m hoping to connect with more at the next outing.

I missed out on my Dubai Twestival Official Tee (actually left it on the couch & found it missing by the time I remembered) – that was a disappointment considering it would have made a lovely souvenir for my trip.

Many, many thanks to the organizers of the Dubai Twestival who made it all happen. It’s no small task to put up an event of this magnitude – and the outcome was simply splendid.

Another highlight of my Dubai trip was getting to meet David Koopmans from Melbourne @koopmans but that is fodder for another post! Tweet on, people…

News on Dubai Twestival (very extensively covered in local media):

Snaps from Dubai Twestival:

Pics credit @bojicas

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Comments»

1. UTP - February 17, 2009

The CHIPS were GREAT….and was a novel idea…to get some attention heheh…lovely meeting u and hope to keep in touch…

2. Prashant Gulati (@PKGulati) - February 18, 2009

Arun, it was very adventurous of you to come by especially for the Twestival. It was a great event due to people who were there, especially people like you. I hope it was equally fulfilling for you. And, thanks for being so thoughtful – the taste of Oman chips is still fresh !! Your t shirt is due 🙂

3. Shula B - February 28, 2009

Dear Arun,
I thank you for your effort for promoting Oman at Dubai Twestival, I think we Twitters from Oman should create ‘Oman Twestival’.

I believe you are the best person to lead it as managed to attend Dubai Twestival.

I am wondering, is their a way to track down the number of users in Oman?

4. Arun Rajagopal - February 28, 2009

Hi Shula:
Thank you for your comment.
I recommend using Twitter Grader (http://twitter.grader.com/location/?Location=oman) to get a good estimate of Twitter users in Oman.
It seems that Twitter users in Dubai have increased by 90% after the recent Dubai Twestival. Check out: http://twitpic.com/1qul0
As the number of Twitter adopters in Oman go up, it will be more feasible to have tweet-ups!
Cheers!
Arun

5. Migration Mark - April 8, 2009

Sounds like a great twestival.
I need to get a bag of these Chips Oman as soon as possible!

6. Joel - July 3, 2009

Really nice experience and of course had fun while reading your article. Nice photos that attract myself towards your blog.

7. Priyam Chakraborty - July 15, 2009

Arun

Really nice to read of ‘Oman Chips’ !!
They re the nicest chips ever .. reminded me of old times in Muscat..
Real nice stuff about Muscat .. you have another follower now !

=)


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